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Lawrence B. Longfellow

Date of Death: February 5, 2015

Date of Birth: March 18, 1922



   Lawrence B. Longfellow, 92, died Feb. 5, 2015 at MaineGeneral Medical Center from congestive

heart failure.  He died as he had lived—with courage, vigor, and acceptance, with a place in his heart for family and friends.

           Lawrence (L.B. or Larry) was born on March 18, 1922 in Farmingdale, Maine to Lester and Emma (Jack) Longfellow, the third of six children.  He grew up in an extended family environment on Litchfield Rd.  He liked to roam and work the fields and woods, with their wide variety of trees, plants and animals.  When he was a little boy, he saw Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart at the Augusta Airport, and in 1929, he rode the last electric car from Hallowell to Winthrop.  He was active in the youth group at Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, where he maintained membership.   Lawrence graduated from Hallowell High School in 1939 and attended Gates Business School.

In 1942, he studied aircraft maintenance with the National Youth Administration in Houlton.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, and was sent to the University of Maryland, where he studied engineering.  In 1944, he began five months of front line combat in Germany with the 102nd (Ozark) Division.  He attended Officer Candidate School while overseas, then spent fifteen more months in the Occupation forces in Germany.   In 1946 he returned to the States and continued to serve in the Army Reserves. 

He married Mavis Judkins of Belgrade, on July 2, 1949. They moved into the Burns School across the road from his parents’ house in Farmingdale, turning the building into a comfortable home.  He worked with his father and brother in the greenhouse and farm business, with the help of both brothers’ families. To better support his family, he carried a mail route and worked early mornings for the Kennebec Journal.

   In 1977, he and Mavis moved to Manchester and built the current Longfellow's Greenhouses with their son, Scott, with help from their five other children. He was a highly creative man, and it was largely his vision and entrepreneurship that shaped the resulting establishment.  Lawrence and Mavis retired in 1987 and sold Longfellow’s to son Scott and his wife Sandy; he continued to follow the business’ activities until his last hour.

   L.B. had many interests: nature, family camping, travel, technology, astronomy, agriculture, mountain climbing, the stock market…and especially people.   He was well-known for his generosity to family, friends, and even strangers, and he took great pleasure from hearing their stories.  He and Mavis traveled widely, making many trips around the U.S., and to Canada, Scandinavia, and Great Britain. One of their favorite areas was the Big Bend area of Texas, and they enjoyed camping trips to Alaska three times. He loved hiking throughout his life, taking many trips to the Appalachian Trail Huts in New Hampshire, trekking in Nepal in the Himalayas at age 66, and climbing his last mountain at age 79.

  He had a strong sense of adventure and curiosity.  He was also a man of strong values, which he passed on to his family: the values of education and achievement, honesty and kindness, wisdom and truth, generosity and caring.

  Lawrence was pre-deceased by his parents, Lester and Emma Longfellow; and his sisters Arlene Maxwell Jordan, Ruth Bruce, Esther Longfellow, and Ellen (Sal) Longfellow; and by two nieces. He is survived by his wife Mavis J. Longfellow of Manchester; daughters Anna Brown and husband Jeff of Winthrop, Alice Longfellow and husband Robert Call of Centertown, MO, and Lorraine (Dee) Longfellow and husband James (Andy) Sosa of Annandale, VA; sons Scott and wife Sandy of Manchester, Wayne and wife Carol of Rockaway, NJ, and Daniel and wife Tamera of Hampden. He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Seth Brown and wife Sarah; Kristin Brown Giguere and husband Adam and their sons Aidan and Tanner; William, Evan, and Ellen Longfellow; Stephen, Amy, and Bethany Longfellow; Eric and Rachel Call; Stephanie Sosa Lauck and husband Curtis; Katherine Sosa; Mitchell Longfellow; and Cassandra Longfellow and partner Nick Frenette and their son Benson.  Surviving him also is his brother Alden A. Longfellow and wife Esther of Farmingdale.  L.B. is also survived by several cousins, and 13 nieces and nephews in the Maxwell, Bruce, and Longfellow families.

 He asked that his obituary send this message to all those friends and family members who have meant so much to him: “I loved you all.”

At his request there will be no funeral.  Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Belgrade, in the spring.  There will be an informal gathering to honor Lawrence’s life on Saturday Feb. 14 at 5:00-7:00 at Longfellow’s Greenhouses, 81 Puddledock Rd., Manchester.

Those who wish may donate to the Appalachian Mountain Club Huts (   Alternatively, the family suggests that people present a bouquet of flowers to someone they love, in Lawrence’s memory.  


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